How to crochet a shell border

Updated April 17, 2017

A crocheted shell border is lovely way to finish off a crochet project. A shell border is made up of shell stitches, also known as fan stitches, alternating with single crochet stitches along the edges of your crocheted piece. To make a shell stitch, you crochet three or more double crochet stitches into the same base stitch creating a fan pattern. If you know how to make a single crochet stitch and double crochet stitch, you can add a little something to your crocheted piece.

Hold your crocheted piece so the right side of the work is facing you. Crochet a row of single crochets around the edge of your piece using the yarn and the crochet hook. Join the last single crochet with the first using a slip stitch.

Crochet three chain stitches; this will count as the first double crochet. Crochet a double crochet into the first single crochet stitch, the one on the corner. Crochet three more double crochets into the same stitch.

Skip two single crochet stitches. Crochet a single crochet into the following single crochet stitch.

Skip two more single crochet stitches. Crochet five double crochets into the next single crochet stitch. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you reach the last four stitches on the row.

Crochet a single crochet into the fourth stitch from the corner. Skip the following two single crochet stitches. Crochet five double crochets into the corner stitch. Repeat steps 3 through 5 all the way around your piece, until you are back at the first corner.

Slip stitch into the third chain of the beginning chain stitch. Cut the yarn with the scissors and pull the end through.

Weave in ends of the yarn with the yarn needle.


To keep the tension consistent you should use the same crochet hook that you used to create the body of your piece. You should use the same type of yarn to make the border as you used to make the piece. It can be a different colour, but should be the same weight and material. For example if you used a worsted weight wool for the piece, do not use a sport weight acrylic. If the number of stitches for your border is not coming out right, for example the shell is not landing in the corner, skip an extra single crochet between the shells and the single crochets until the pattern lines up.

Things You'll Need

  • Crocheted piece
  • Yarn
  • Crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Nicolle Gunay worked in the fashion industry for several years before becoming a teacher. She has an Associate of Science in fashion design and a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Florida Atlantic University.